Proposed EPA cuts: corporations are making the rules

Residents of East Chicago, Indiana, on April 19 protest the visit of President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt. Soil and groundwater in the town has been seriously affected from industrial lead waste, tar sands, and other contaminants. Trump and Pruitt may de-fund the EPA and close its Region 5 office in nearby Chicago. That would effectively end federal enforcement of environmental regulations that protect public health.
PHOTO/ALLEN HARRIS

 

President Trump’s proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency would nearly eliminate all regional cleanup programs, including those for the Great Lakes and the Gulf of Mexico. The second-biggest cut would be the program which helps deal with pollutants from sources not directly regulated under the Clean Water Act, such as the phosphorus that flows into Lake Erie from fertilizer, harming fish and other wildlife.

The cuts would also: reduce grants that help states monitor the safety of public water systems; curtail the EPA’s ability to police and impose penalties on environmental offenders; and reduce funding for the Climate Protection Program in the area.

The attack on the EPA may also include closing the agency’s Region 5 office in Chicago. Observers say this could undermine the EPA’s ability to monitor pollution in the Great Lakes and curtail its ability to carry out enforcement actions against coal-fired power plant owners.

Whatever the final picture looks like, you can bet there will be cuts of some kind, and they will be an attack on our lives and on the planet in order to make greater profits for big business. Whether it’s Democrat or Republican politicians in charge, it’s the corporations that are making the rules, and that’s what we need to change. We have to fight for a government that reports to the people, not the corporations. We have to get control over the corporations before they destroy society and the Earth.

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